News Bias – Attacking Atheists

It is often quite interesting to look at how a specific event is reported, and note the tone of the article. Such a comparison often tells us quite a lot about the bias that is introduced by the article’s author and perhaps also reveals a hidden agenda. Here now is an interesting example of this:

First … the event. A Metal beam, in the shape of a cross (pictured here) was found at 9/11 ground zero, it was subsequently blessed by a priest and erected as a memorial. What has now happened is that a US atheist group filed a lawsuit asking a judge to order the removal of the cross-shaped steel beam or request that other religions and nonreligious views be equally represented. My thoughts? Well, it sounds fair to me, we live in a pluralistic society, all they are asking for is an even playing field.

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Fox News – Fair and Balanced?

Fair & Balanced” is a trademarked slogan used by Fox news, so I can only speculate that somebody there has a huge sense of irony.

Another slogan they have also used during the 2008 electon was “We Report, You Decide”. OK, fair enough, I’ll give you a few details and then you can decide.

By now I’m sure you can guess where I’m going with this, because many of you are already aware that Fox News is simply a right-wing propaganda machine, the very concepts of unbiased reliable and balanced are quite alien to them.

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Christopher Hitchens pens his thoughts on Bachmann … here are a couple of extracts …

That was actually three dripping custard pies, rather than just the one, with which Rep. Michele Bachmann assailed her own face by bragging to Fox News about her small-town Iowa roots …

… boasted by the sturdy small town of her girlhood, she went on to claim that “John Wayne was from Waterloo, Iowa …It was his namesake John Wayne Gacy, serial rapist and killer of 33 teenage boys and young men, who spent time in Waterloo…

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(UK Libel Reform Campaign) – A message from Simon Singh & Ben Goldacre

Dear Libel Reform Supporter,

Last week, we gave evidence to the Parliamentary Scrutiny Committee examining the draft defamation bill. We sat alongside Philip Campbell (editor of Nature) and Fiona Godlee (editor of the British Medical Journal) and explained how English libel law currently hinders free speech in science and medicine and we outlined how the law could be reformed.

You can watch our evidence online here: (our session starts at 17.40)

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Is Sara Palin Nuts – what do you think?

“Sara Palin is Nuts” – Many of us have know it for quite some time, so it is no surprise, but … now here comes the truly funny bit …  she has been off on Tours of various sites, and for her latest boondoggle to some far-flung place she would probably not be able to identify on a map, she told Christina Lamb in the Sunday Times:

I am going to Sudan in July and hope to stop in England on the way. I am just hoping Mrs Thatcher is well enough to see me as I so admire her.

I guess I can understand her desire for such a meeting, as the keeper of the Ronald Regan flame, self appointed of course, it fits in quite well with her political agenda. However, when presented with the idea, Thatcher’s aids are quoted as saying:

Lady Thatcher will not be seeing Sarah Palin. That would be belittling for Margaret. Sarah Palin is nuts.

You can read the original report about this here, and then you can enjoy the frothing and foaming it generated within the right-wing kook camp here.

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Religious discrimination in a secular culture

The recession in the UK (are we allowed to call it that) has motivated the powers that be to seriously consider finding god. Well not quite, what they are doing is starting to look upon religious groups as potential service providers. The most obvious example is of course education. Many non-believers are eager for their offspring to enroll within Church schools simply because they have better exam results, and perhaps also with the thought that they will be instilled with good moral guidance. I need not point out the reality, but what the heck, I’ll do so anyway: